Mechanical separation-oriented characterization of electronic scrap

Mechanical separation-oriented characterization of electronic scrap

Other Title: 

Resources, Conservation and Recycling

Creator: 

Zhang, Shunli
Forssberg, Eric

Publisher: 

Elsevier

Date: 

Monday, November 24, 1997

Type: 

JournalArticle

Source: 

Original Publication

Language: 

English

Relation: 

Original

Rights: 

Copyright

Coverage: 

Description: 

The ever-increasing amount of electronic scrap and the steadily-decreasing contents of the precious metals used in electronics, as well as the ever-growing environmental awareness, challenges such conventional precious-metal-oriented recycling techniques as pyrometallurgy. Separation and beneficiation of various materials encountered in electronic scrap might provide a correct solution ahead. In this context, mechanical separation-oriented characterization of electronic scrap was conducted in an attempt to evaluate the amenability of mechanical separation processes. Liberation degrees of various metals from the non-metals, which are crucial for mechanical separation, were analyzed by means of a grain counting approach. It is found that the metallic particles below 2 mm achieve almost complete liberation. Particle shapes were also quantified through an image processing system. The results obtained show that the shapes of the particles, as a result of shredding, turn out to be heterogeneous, thereby complicating mechanical separation processes. In addition, separability of various materials was ascertained by a sink–float analysis. It has been shown that density-based separation techniques shall be viable in separating metals from plastics, light plastics (ABS, PS and PVC, etc.) from glass fiber reinforced resins and aluminum from heavy metals. Specifically, a high quality copper concentrate can be expected by density-based separation techniques. Moreover, FT-IR spectra of plastics pieces from the light fractions after the sink–float testing show that PC scrap primarily contains ABS, PS and PVC plastics with the density range of +1.0–1.5 g/cm3, whereas PCB scrap mainly contains glass fiber reinforced epoxy resins plastics with the density range of +1.5–2.0 g/cm3.